Author's Name: Edith Karimanzira
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Education
Section Research Paper


Challenges, Community Based Organisations, women empowerment, community, organisation, women


The present qualitative research that employed phenomenology research design investigated challenges faced by Community Based Organisations in empowering women in Rudhaka West District of Marondera, Zimbabwe. Two participants consisting ten (10) men and ten (10) women were selected by means of opportunity sampling. In-depth open-ended face-to-face interview, observation methods were used to generate data. Research data were presented descriptively in words. Findings were interpreted using thick descriptions of phenomena derived from direct quotes and measured against similar previous research observations. Four key findings emerged from the conduct of this study. These were; 1) Cultural barriers to gender equity and gender equality, 2) Increased female household chores, 3) Lack of capacity to manage programmes and projects, and 4). Unsustainable income generation activities. Four conclusions emerge from the findings. First, cultural barriers-norms, values and traditions that women should be economically and socially below men.This was also complemented by the information obtained from the key informants that although they try by all efforts to educate the women and also give her access to economic means culture and tradition still affects their progress. Second, increased burden-household roles, informal work mainly affects the programmes of the CBO, the informants mentioned sometimes their members fail to turn up for duties or meeting citing burden of balancing househol responsibilities and the CBO responsibilities. Third, majority of the respondents and the key informants highlighted that since they are non profit making they get trainings from only interested partners interms of project management trainings hence they have limited experience in management of economic projects and programmes. Fourth, though they are having projects to suppliment their household incomes it was also highlighted that their economic projects may be done for window dressing reasons, because they have low income generating capacity and sustainability. From the findings and conclusions, three recommendations suffice. First, there is need for CBOs to mobilise resources to enable them to empower women wherever they would be. Second, society needs to move away from cultural practices that denigrate women if ever women are to contribute meaningfully to the development of their area on an equal footing with men. Third, more research in the studied area needs to be conducted in order to conscientise the world on the fact that women have a place and key role to play in developing their societies through CBOs.

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